Writing Prompt #4: What’s in your bag?

Write about the things in your handbag or purse

It could be argued that the things we choose to carry with us say something about who we are. When I look through the things I don’t leave home without I tend to remember the care with which I selected each item. As a whole I like the picture it paints.

Living in an area where mass transit isn’t much of an option makes my car keys a daily necessity. My key ring is pretty minimalist. I like to keep it small so they can comfortably fit in my pocket. I am a very novice leatherworker and a wrist loop made from some suede strips I have with a snap and ring is next on my project list.

Like all modern humans my phone feels like an extension of my arm. Not having it leaves me feeling a little lost with a panicked sweat threatening to break out. I make my phone case pull double duty. Since I never forget my phone and was prone to forgetting my wallet I picked a phone case that is a wallet too. It looks like a tiny old leather bound book. That appeals to the Luddite in me that tends to rail against the hold modern technology has on my attention.

When I might need my hands free or my women’s pants fail me (repeatedly) by not having functional pockets I will carry a purse. After pining over a big floppy tobacco brown leather bag for too many years my parents gave me one—probably to shut me up. This one is a beauty too. I’ve already stained it in a few places. The leather is pebble grained and so soft it looks like a pile of leathery goodness laying on the floor, and oh the pockets. Pockets inside and outside. I’m going to blame women’s clothing for it’s shocking lack of pockets for my general obsession with having them in my accessories. In each of those pockets I have a small stash of extraneous stuff that I like to have, but don’t always need.

There’s the product of my first leather working project, a little envelope style coin purse of dubious quality, filled with the coins I always forget to pull out on the rare occasion I pay in cash. An old Altoids tin serves as a miniature first aid kit with Band-aids and Neosporin. A pack of gum (Trident Cinnamon) and a packet of tissues share space with at least two or three pens clipped to the side of the pocket.

This is where my old-fashioned streak really kicks in. I have about 40 fountain pens and nearly as many bottles of different color inks to fill them with. I have vintage ones that belonged to my husband’s grandfather and brand new ones that were gifts. A girl can never have too many pens. One of the joys of packing up for a day is figuring out which pen and ink combos make the cut.

A recent splurge item also resides in my purse. After keeping a pair of drugstore sunglasses intact for three years I bought myself a nice $100 pair of Warby Parkers. They are just a little bit cat eyed and little bit pink and they make me feel much cooler when I wear them.

Another favorite item is my Opinel No. 6 folding knife. It has a carbon steel blade that’s easy to keep sharp, but is generally small enough to fit in my pocket. It looks very vintage and very French and that sort of seals the deal on why I like it.

I also carry a simple Zippo brushed aluminum lighter. I almost never need it as I don’t smoke, but it doesn’t take much room and it makes me feel strangely prepared.

Do you see the T.A.R.D.I.S.?!
Do you see the T.A.R.D.I.S.?!

Finally, I have a small zip pouch that I look for excuses to pull out of my purse and rifle through the pillbox, lip balm and random paraphernalia I keep in it. It is made from a very subtle Doctor Who themed toile. I’m about as Whovian as it gets and each time I pull out my little bag in public I keep hoping another Doctor Who fan will spot it, our eyes will meet and we’ll acknowledge our shared secret with a nod and a look. It hasn’t happened yet.





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